$20 Million Gift Pushes UA Closer to the Stars

Dec. 12, 2014

UA News December 2014 | A donation from Richard F. Caris in support of the UA's commitment to the Giant Magellan Telescope project will ensure valuable access for University astronomers. 

"We are grateful that Richard F. Caris has provided this generous gift to the UA, which will support our participation in the GMT, a critically important effort in the space sciences," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. "Mr. Caris has been an ardent supporter of the University for more than a decade and his contributions have helped establish the UA’s international prominence in astronomical research."

On Oct. 19, 1916, all classes were canceled at the University of Arizona and a huge bonfire was staged to celebrate the two largest donations in the University's history at the time: $75,000 for a new mining building and $60,000 to build an observatory.  The gift of 1916, made by amateur astronomer Lavinia Steward of Oracle, Arizona, created the UA's Steward Observatory and, in the words of UA astronomer Tom Fleming, "was the first spark of the excellence in space research that the UA would be known for."  Read More